It was a master class in corporate double speak where the only contradiction was hidden in the words left unsaid.  Questions were asked and answered, often at length in a meandering yet captivating tone, that left the asker satisfied but not better informed.  Only a truly charismatic individual can command a room of intellectuals to that extent.  Or perhaps the audience was not as smart as previously believed.  It was likely a combination of both…

When enough time had passed, he finished speaking and announced lunch was ready, with a joke and a smile, and all sins were forgotten as we gorged ourselves on a buffet of multi-cultural delights, though none were Turkish.  Not all sins were actually forgotten though as the contradictions of the hour festered beneath the surface.  We weren’t as stupid as we let on.  We just knew that nodding and smiling were our part of the charade, the corporate game.

You flew across the country, all the way from New York City, to say hello.  You flew across the country to tell us that our recent transition, reduction in force, layoffs, firings, were hard, yes, but they have come to end and we have been right sized so there is nothing to fear.  Yet there you sat, on the wrong coast, surveying the carnage and calculating the next ten moves that need to be made because the problems that existed before still run rampant and everyone knows that chopping and shuffling are the fastest way to get results.  So, claim all is well if you will but we know better.


The words stutter and stop
All I’d wanted to say goes with a pop
My mind blanks
My voice tanks
And then I grasp for anything worth saying
To fill the air that’s now silent
Before the awkwardness settles in
But the need to find something goes begging
And I fail in the long moment
To salvage the stalled situation

The words stutter and stop
My spirt and mood all drop
Why can’t I speak?
Why can’t I think?
I had a point to make just a minute ago
It was biting and worthwhile
At least I thought it was when it was spinning in my head
About truth and lies and what we really know
And walking that extra mile
To be better, expect better, not fall into the habit of being led

The words stutter and stop
Maybe my point was always a flop
Let’s go hide in the sand
That’s my kind of plan
We’ve become too polite for confrontation
Too timid to stand for a cause
Too busy in our own little world of five inch screens…
Or is it that we’re scared of the repercussions
If our view clashes with the social jaws
And we get ripped apart before we can even scream?

The words stutter and stop
Is it too late to start from the top?
Maybe if I do this over
My point will recover
But why should I even bother to try?
Does anyone truly care anymore?
Or are we just hunting likes and hearts and follows?
If I cared more I would likely cry…
And that truth shakes my core.
How can I expect more from others when my words are hollow?

The words stutter and stop.


We always have choices
Is a lie
Told to us
Sold to us
To make us feel like the hard decisions
Are made for the right reasons
Because that silver lining
Is often
The only

We always have choices
Is a lie
Told to us
Sold to us
To keep us from reflecting too deeply
On the unjustness of reality
Because life isn’t fair
And that truth
Always hurts

We always have choices
Is a lie
Told to us
Sold to us
To give us the merest glimpse of hope
Of a world that could be better
Because there has to be
There should be

white rocks


There’s a portal here, somewhere, among these white rocks. It’s a legend, sure, but most legends are born from some sort of truth, and what other truth could exist that would have made the Chumash believe there was a portal to another world, if they hadn’t seen it for themselves? So, perhaps is has since been closed off, or perhaps we just aren’t aware enough to see it anymore, or maybe we’ve forgotten how to work the magic that opens it? It’s hard to say because anything is possible.

I didn’t go looking for it. The rocks themselves only partially skirted the trail we were following. If we had been making better time, perhaps I would have had a few minutes to venture and scramble among them and see if I could find the portal. Or, if he hadn’t been so blasted hot, perhaps I would have made the time to drop my pack and go searching for it, rather than taking my few breaks near the rocks to huddle in the shade. I wonder what I would have seen.

Maybe I’ll have to go looking next time we take this trail…

On being a month old

My Littler Prince,

Oh, I can’t tell you how much I had forgotten about newborns.  The sounds.  The movements.  The smells – some good, some bad.  And all of it amazing.

It was shortly after the turning of the years that you decided to become a resident of the Kingdom.  It was a stormy night, dark yes but not foreboding, at the end of a stormy week.  You gave voice to your displeasure at having been forced from your previous home but quickly settled into contentedness again once you were cradled in the Queen’s arms.  Your big brother joined us all on the bed to marvel at your newness, your wild red hair, your tiny toes, and your perfection.  Our family had grown by one.

A month.  Where did the time go?  Chaotic days and interrupted nights but that’s nothing new.  That’s business as usual in the toddlerocracy.  You are growing like a weed, just like your brother did (and still does).  You are snuggly and squirmy and calm and noisy and gassy and sleepy and wide-eyed with wonder at the great world around you.  That’s the kingdom, by the way.  It isn’t perfect but it’s close and it is yours.  Yours and your brothers.

And, I can’t really say everything I want to, without some unfair comparisons to your big brother, the Little Prince.  You are angelic to his current phase of energetic destructiveness.  You have slept more in your first four weeks than he did in his first four months.  You can be put down and will happily squirm on your own where he still needs constant interaction if we don’t want him to pull down the house around us.  Unfair, I know.  I’m likely exaggerating his start to life here in the Kingdom and, regardless, you too will step up to rule the toddlerocracy one day.

Just as we will always love your big brother, despite his determination to send us closer and closer to the edge of sanity, we will always love you too.  Nothing could ever change that truth.  Nothing.  Not even when you won’t sleep in the middle of the night and I walk the hallways singing every song I know the words to, lullaby or not – you seem to like Janis Joplin, and you refuse to shut your eyes which is all it would take for you to fall back asleep.  You’ve got your parents’ stubbornness in you.  That’s good.  That will serve you well as you rise to power.  There is nothing you can’t achieve.  I may just be a Jester, but you have come from greatness all the same and you will be greater still.

Love you,

Your Daddy, Jester of the Matticus Kingdom